Gamō Kunpei from the series

Thirty Great Loyalists of Early Modern Times, 1942

by Isoda Chōshū

IHL Cat. #1967


Isoda constructs this fictional scene showing the writer and imperialist Gamō Kunpei (1768-1813) castigating the shogun, Tokugawa Ienari (1773-1841), on the poor state of the Imperial Tombs he surveyed in the late 18th century. Gamō subsequently published the "Sanryō shi" (Record of the Imperial Tombs) in 1808. His work prompted "members of the Sonnō Movement at the end of the Edo period to pressure the bakufu for better treatment of the tombs."[1]

Thirty Great Loyalists of Early Modern Times

The eleven extant prints comprising the seemingly incomplete series Thirty Great Loyalists of Early Modern Times depict figures active in the mid/late Edo era and early Meiji era who displayed great loyalty to the Emperor and, thereby, the nation. Issued in 1942 when the war in the Pacific was raging, the patriotic theme of these prints was clear. Nine of the eleven extant prints portray a famous incident or anecdote in a Great Loyalist's life and two prints deal specifically with the 1860 assassination of the shōgunate's Chief Minister Ii Naosuke (1815-1860). Each print was issued in a folder which also contained a written commentary. 

[1] "Contested Access: The Imperial Tombs in the Postwar Period" by Walter Edwards appearing in the Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 26, No. 2 (Summer, 2000), p. 377.

Print Details

Thirty Great Loyalists #1967

artist signature and seal 

signature: 長秋 (Chōshū) seal: 长秋 (Chōshū)

copyright notice


seal of the Society for the Promotion of Loyalist Culture


seal reading nagaya saku tonton? 588

ナガヤ作 東々五八八

Artist Profile

Isoda Chōshū 磯田長秋 (1880-1947) - A nihonga painter, he first studied under a minor Kanō school painter and later under Kobori Tomone (1881-1968) of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, a yamato-e painter, famous for his historical works...

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